Building Owners & Managers
EV charging as a value-added service
As a building owner/manager, you are constantly looking for ways to provide good value for your existing customers and to attract new ones. Electric vehicle charging services are a great way to support both of these efforts. Now is the time to figure out how you can do this at your properties and get ready to provide these services when your customers start to ask for them. The most challenging aspects of multi-housing charging are managing a process involving several parties and finding solutions that provide the greatest cost-benefit ratios and convenience for the homeowner association, members, or tenants who use the system. Every multi-unit dwelling will have its own advantages and limitations. Therefore, there is no “one size fits all” solution, and instead every infrastructure project will have to be designed based on the case at hand. The good news is that electric utility companies are more actively supporting their customers in these upgrades.
How to proceed?
1. Get educated
Make sure your key employees have an understanding of the EV charging basics. Start by having everyone read through the Charging 101 page of this site. Your electric utility company can also potentially provide you with further information. Read more about that below.
2. Talk with EV owners
If you already have EV owners at your properties, make sure to talk with them and hear their perspectives. Visit the Tools page, download the Energy and Power calculation tool and have those EV owners do calculations using their data. This will give you valuable examples of what daily charging looks like for those people.
3. Contact your electric utility
Your electric utility company is happy to help you with the EV charging setups. Most utilities have special EV rates that provide cheaper electricity during off-peak hours and some even provide charging installation incentives. They may even have dedicated programs for MUD charging which can include planning help, technical advice, and educational resources. If you live in Minnesota, www.MNCharging.org provides you with a direct link to your own electric utility.
4. Use the resources available on the Tools page
In addition to the Power and Energy calculator you can find more process-oriented Metering and Payment tables and even the Future Ready MUD Charging concept on this page. The Metering and Payment table covers the most common setups that are considered at MUD buildings. Presently utility companies are taking a more active role in this space so see if they have a setup that they would recommend. Utility run programs are usually the most affordable and convenient option both for residents and property management. The Future Ready MUD Charging concept provides one approach that you can use as a starting point for your planning. It is designed to show a solution that combines a relatively low initial investment with a future proofed infrastructure plan. Talk with your utility company, electrician and other stakeholders about how well that would work for your properties and adjust it based on your specific case.
5. Find out about the financial incentives.
DOE provides the most comprehensive list of these: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/state
In 2020 there is also Federal tax credit for charging infrastructure available. More info on our Tools page.
6. Work to find the right solutions
This is not necessarily simple and straight forward, but we are sure that with some effort you will find good solutions together with your stakeholders. Learn, educate, negotiate and succeed.
7. Educate your residents
This can give you a competitive advantage in the market, so when you get your charging approach figured out, it is good to educate your residents about EVs and charging. Your residents will appreciate that you are being proactive with this and providing them a service that enables them to choose an EV. This gives them another freedom of choice in their transportation. Ask to see if your utility company can recommend a knowledgeable EV expert to do presentations or workshops with your residents about the topic and provide answers to general questions that they might have. If people shift to driving electric it will increase the retention rates since people would need to find a different property that provides them with EV charging. One helpful resource to share with your members is the EV Info List that you can download from www.EVInfoList.com.
8. Prepare your new properties
If you develop and build new properties, take EV charging infrastructure needs into account during the initial design and build phases. It is much cheaper to incorporate those into the design as part of the initial building phase compared to having to remodel to add them later when the demand increases. You don’t need to install charging stations to each parking spot but build the basic capacity so that this can be done easily in phases when needed.
A new service product
EV charging is a new service that your clients will appreciate since it enables them to choose an EV. This gives them another freedom of choice in their transportation.
Client attraction and retention
Simply offering EV charging at your facilities will send the message that you are interested in providing solutions for both present and future needs of your residents. People who already drive electric are choosing their place of residence among the properties that provide charging and the number of EV drivers is growing all the time. It also does increase the retention rates since residents that drive an EV will have to find another property that provides charging.
Future proofing your property
As electric vehicles become more common there will be common expectations on charging infrastructure. By installing some charging infrastructure now you will stay ahead of the curve and learn how to provide this service effectively.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certifications assign value for the availability of charging infrastructure at buildings. Your facility can receive extra points for offering this service to your clients.
Looking for good publicity and a place in the spotlight? Offering EV charging options will set you up as a leader and make your facilities the hot new places to live and work. Educate and promote this to get the best return on your investment.
Property value increase
EV charging infrastructure availability will be a feature that potential buyers take into account when looking at potential properties. Providing charging infrastructure at your buildings can be one way to attract potential buyers and increase the value of the units while providing a valuable service for your clients.
By providing charging options you can show leadership in supporting sustainable transportation options.
Visit our Tools for tools, concepts and other useful resources. Our Power and Energy Calculator tool helps you figure out your charging needs and costs. Our Metering and Payment table shows different metering options and helps you figure out the right payment setup. And our Future Ready MUD Charging concepts provides you a basic model that you can use as a planning foundation.